First, a quick explanation: many tongue-in-cheek jokes have been made by homeschoolers about other homeschoolers (that is allowed, like people enjoying jokes about their own ethnic group). The “homeschool uniform” refers to a denim jumper of mid-calf length, white t-shirt, white socks and tennis shoes, and possibly long hair done up in a bun. Now surround Mom with no less than 5 children (perfectly stair-stepped in heighths) and pack them all into a minivan, Suburban, or other large SUV. Extra points if Mom is pregnant. Obviously, not all homeschool Moms look this way, but when at a homeschool support group meeting or homeschool convention, sometimes it can feel like I am the only one who does not conform! I often joke that driving my minivan is the closest I get to wearing the “homeschool uniform.”
Hopefully, you have chosen homeschooling because you wanted to give your children a customized education, not simply because you were following the latest fad in your neighborhood or church. Whether that means customized for religious beliefs, health requirements, or distance disadvantages, your preference in education has differed from “the norm.” Therefore, strive to find the “educational system” that best fits your family’s lifestyle — please do not adopt trends trying to “look like a homeschooler” or “fit in.”
My daughter recently identified her new college roommate as having been homeschooled, based on the girl’s behavior and lifestyle choices. When asked, the roommate confirmed that she was in fact from a large homeschooling family. It was further confirmed when the roommate’s younger siblings visited the dorm: quiet, respectful, well-behaved children tend to stand out as unusual these days!
By choosing to homeschool, we are standing up against the peer pressure of the government institutions. By homeschooling in our own way with our own chosen methods, we are standing up to the peer pressure of other families. We want to be different from the world, we want to rise higher than the world’s standards, and we want our children to be better than the standard worldly examples. It is not what I wear that makes the difference, it is what I teach my children and how I teach them.